Yin Yang: two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interacYin Yang: two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it.
I was thinking of the principle of Yin Yang while I read Full Dark, No Stars. This is a collection of four stories, in each one Mr. King explores what happens when ordinary people are put in extraordinary, and sometimes dire, circumstances. What happens is you may end up doing something you would never expect yourself to do.
This is a story of a farmer Wilfred James and his son, and what they will do to hold onto land willed to Arlette, Wilfred's wife. Arlette has plans for the land contrary to what her husband wants to do with it....bad things happen.
This was my least favorite of the four stories. It was the most sci-fi of them and just a bit too creepy and out there for my tastes.
Tess, and author, is invited to speak about her books 60 miles from her home. On her way back, she runs into some debris in the road and some trouble in the form of a giant in a truck.
This was my favorite of all the stories, because I could understand Tess's reaction completely.
Harry Streeter has cancer, and he doesn't have long on this mortal coil, until he meets the devil in form of a roadside vendor. He makes a deal. You how well those deals usually end up.
A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson has been married to the perfect guy for twenty plus years. She knows him completely, or so she thinks, until she quite literally stumbles upon a big secret of his. And it changes everything she ever thought she knew.
....I really liked this one.
So, we all think we are good people. Good people can sometimes do bad things, yet, still be good people. Yin Yang.
I am reluctant to review this since I have friends who loved this book, and my mother recommended it. But this book bugged me so much I just haOh Boy.
I am reluctant to review this since I have friends who loved this book, and my mother recommended it. But this book bugged me so much I just have to have my say.
This is a book about a three year old boy, Colton, who comes close to death (never pronounced clinically dead, as in most near death experiences ), Claims that he hung out with Jesus, God, John the Baptist, Gabriel, the Holy Ghost (I've always wondered about the holy ghost), his great grandpa, his dead sister, and Jesus's rainbow horse, and the ubiquitous men in white beards on giant thrones.
I do not doubt for a second that this child experienced something, be it a near death experience or an illness spawned delusion, but I take issue with how his story comes about. I have an open mind about this kind of thing, but.....awe c'mon.
So Colton gets really really sick, vomiting every 30 minutes. His parents eventually get him to a hospital where tests are administered. Even though the Burpos question whether it is appendicitis (they have a strong suspicion it is) the incompetent doctor informs them that all the tests are negative for appendicitis. Instead of ripping the child out of bed and heading to a different hospital immediately, they wait 3 or 5 days (can't remember which). By the time they get it in gear and get him to a new doctor the boy is very close to death. His appendix has ruptured and the poison circulated through him. He was dehydrated, and of course he hadn't eaten in days. Ripe for delusion I say.
He was taken into emergency surgery, during which he has his NDE/out of body experience. Some compelling things do happen that a lines itself more with an out of body experience, he knows what his parents are doing in other rooms for instance. When Colton is in "Heaven" He sees dead relatives he had never met before. This is all I can buy.
Whenever someone reports a NDE, they are usually consistent with that persons belief system. If you are a Christian your experience will follow what you were taught from the bible. If you were raised to believe (or not believe) in another manner, your experience will follow what you were taught. Did I mention Colton's father, the author Todd Burpo, is an evangelical preacher?
Slowly Colton's story comes out, by means of a myriad of questions by his father (leading ones no doubt). Colton would mention stuff like what color cloths Jesus wore (purple if you wondered) and his dad's jaw would drop (this happened often) because no one had ever told Colton that Jesus wore purple. "How could he know this?" his dad wondered. I'll tell you how Todd, he heard you say it! You're a preacher, I'd gather the conversation is pretty bible heavy in your household.
My question is how could he not know it? Three year old brains are super sponges...he heard this mentioned a some point and that's how he knew it Todd, no great mystery.
As I was listening to this book I kept trying to keep an open mind, but where this book completely jumped the shark for me was during a part where Colton is with his dad and family at a funeral. Colton points at the casket with a stern and concerned look on his face and says "Did that man have Jesus in his heart daddy? He had to have Jesus in his heart or he won't go to Heaven!!" *insert drama sting here* and Todd's jaw dropped once again. During this I'm standing in Aldi looking at the cauliflower and said out loud AWE C'MON!! I got a few stares, so I dropped the cauliflower and said "spots".
This book is written by a guy who really believes in his evangelicalism. He rummaged around in Colton's "memories" and got "answers" that he wanted to hear and then believes proves his evangelical Christianity. If you don't believe what he believes folks 'ya aint gettin' into heaven people...sorry....more
Kayso, like, after three books in a row that kinda sorta made me angry, I wanted to, like, read something totally funny and ridiculous. And I was likeKayso, like, after three books in a row that kinda sorta made me angry, I wanted to, like, read something totally funny and ridiculous. And I was like "Beauty Queens" a book about teen beauty queens on a plain, that like OMG, crashes on a desert island and they have to survive and stuff, wouldn't make me, like, have to think and stuff....none of that politicy stuff either....yuk.
But I was wrong. Yes this is a story about 50 beauty contestants for a pageant called Miss Teen Dream, and how the 12 survivors survive. And yes it is funny and ridiculous, but it also has Lady Bird Hope, which is Sarah Palin (if you have any doubt, listen to the audio version). Mo Mo, Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il. Black Water, too big to fail The corporation that is in control of everything. The LBGT community is represented. Objectification and exploitation of women is addressed. Being comfortable with your sexuality and not being ashamed of it is in there too. Of course the biggest lesson of all, you do not mess with Texas, especially Miss Texas.
I thouroghly enjoyed this book...I listened to the audio version, read by the author. Now this can go either way. Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris, and Stephen King, do a very good job reading their books. But this guy,Todd Burpo reads his terrible book Heaven is for Real.....I just don't want to think about it. Libba Bray did a very good job reading Beauty Queens. In the beginning I was a bit unsure, she sounded a bit snarky, but as the book moved along it got better. Her Sarah Palin is really good, Her Kim Jong-il sounded like Steve Martin's character "Wild and Crazy Guy" from SNL...which made me laugh, even though not quite correct.
Because of that I have had a difficult time coming up with this review. This bookcross posted at Shelfinflicted
I can find no fault with Cloud Atlas.
Because of that I have had a difficult time coming up with this review. This book could have gone all wrong, its premise could have easily tipped this book over the edge into gimmick but David Mitchell pulled this off seamlessly. It blows my mind.
This book is six very different stories, occurring in different time periods that on the surface have nothing to do with each other. Yet they have everything to do with each other.
In 1850, a lawyer crosses the pacific during which he falls seriously ill and is treated by a doctor on board with unusual methods.
In 1931 a young composer of questionable morals works his way into the house of an old, formerly great composer who, due to late stage syphilis has lost his edge. During his time there he writes his masterpiece.
In 1975 an ambitious reporter working for a gossip rag goes after a big story that makes her a target.
Present day, an older gentleman working in publishing finally finds success, after working his entire life, with a book with ties criminal types. He soon finds trouble as well. In an attempt to find a safe place to lie low he ends up in a retirement home against his will.
In the near future, people are cloned and are genetically engineered for slave labor. They are called fabricants, and one fabricant, Sonmi 451 starts to think outside of the box. When she does all hell breaks loose.
Far into the future, we find Zachry living in Hawaii just as people did in the distant past, in tribes and in huts and with zero technology. Language itself is even breaking down. He meets a young woman that shows up on a ship that still has technology.
Zachry’s story is the center of the book and is the only one that is told completely without a break. All the rest are told up to a certain point and then they break and start with the next story in order. Once we hear Zachry’s tale we move backwards and hear the conclusion to the earlier stories to end up where we started, on the ship crossing the Pacific. It’s an onion.
All of these stories could have been written by different authors. You have an historical novel, a crime mystery, a comedy, a sci fi and an apocalyptic novel all mashed up and connected.
There isn't any reason I would have picked up this book if I hadn't been friends of this author's brother, if his wife (and one of my best friends), hThere isn't any reason I would have picked up this book if I hadn't been friends of this author's brother, if his wife (and one of my best friends), hadn't worked with his daughter to do the cover art for it.
It's about Christian peace keepers (peace I dig, organized religion? Not so much.) and the main character, Spike, is heavily into anime. I will make no apologies here, I despise anime to the very depth of my soul. Cartoons, comic books.....can't do any of them, no one knows why.
Spike is an emotionally withdrawn women whose self esteam issues arise from her, less than complementary father, Otto, who has been estranged from Spike and her sister Margie for most of their adult lives. The estrangement is a result of lies told to the girls by their mother....not by anything he did in particular, though of course he wasn't perfect.
Margie, the younger sister, get's involved with a group call Reformed Anabaptist Peace Team, or RAPT, a group dedicated to bringing peace to many of the non peaceful areas of this planet (which is sadly pretty much everywhere), and is promptly sent to Iraq and then, with equal promptness, is kidnapped.
The story revolves around the people who love Margie and how thy go about their lives without her, and how they live without knowing her fate from day to day....
Spike, along with Margie and her ex, Marcus are anime fans (help me.) together they decide to write their own story, Champlooland (I kept thinking of it as Shampoo-land) which Marcus and Spike continue to write in Margie's absence. So that means, dear reader, we get a hefty dose of it in this book. It didn't bother me too much (though I admit to skimming those parts from time to time), so for those who like (or just don't hate) anime, it won't be an issue. The author did make a few references to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, witch was redeeming, and offset the anime sections I had to endure.
I know the author does this kind of work and I would take my hat off to her for it, if I had a hat. It takes some brass balls to put yourself in that kind of danger for what you believe in.....I am not that brave.
This was a self published book, which I tend not to pick up due to the fact there is no professional editing involved (this is not a criticism because any book I would write would need extra strength editing), but I think she did a pretty good job of it on her own.
Over all, I enjoyed it. It was a different read for me. 3.5 stars....more
“What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right? Wouldn't that be wonderful?”
I believe everyone would l“What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right? Wouldn't that be wonderful?”
I believe everyone would love a chance to go back and change things in their past. Correct mistakes in order to change their life or their loved ones lives for the better. But changing one thing may only lead to a new problem……then you have to go back, change the first mistake, then the second one, and so on. I don’t know about you, but this sounds exhausting to me.
Ursula gets the chance to get it ‘right’ over and over again. She is born on a snowy night in February 1910, but since she is born with no doctor present, and with the umbilical cord around her neck she never breaths a breath. Ursula is born on a snowy night in February 1910; the doctor makes it in time to save the little girl from nearly straggling on her own umbilical cord. Through it all, Ursula lives many lives and dies many deaths. Each time she is reborn in the same life, same date, same circumstances but each time she has a certain amount of recall from former times around and she is able to make choices to avoid catastrophe….but new catastrophes, and new deaths, always crop up and they need a fixing the next time around.
Every time she made the right decision and avoided some horrible fate it I would be so happy and I’d hope that maybe this time would be the last time for Ursula, that she would finally get to rest (even though I didn’t want the book to end), but no, there was always the snow.
This book is just beautiful. Painstakingly researched and sublimely written, Life After Life has found a place on my Favorites shelf. Kate Atkinson wrote about life in WWII England and in WWII Germany in such a human way that I don’t believe I ever really felt, or understood, what it was truly like until I read this book. What it was like to live with the threat of being bombed every single night, horrifying. Or what it was like to live under the rule of a crazy man, loving him and worshiping him as the savior of your country only to realize, too late, who he really was.
I love this book and this quote that I hate to admit hits a little too close to home.
“Ursula craved solitude but she hated loneliness, a conundrum that she couldn’t even begin to solve.” ...more